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Sultan To FG: Tell Us Where Recovered Loots Are

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The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III on Tuesday urged the Federal government to explain to Nigerians how much loots it had recovered and what they were being used for.

He spoke in Sokoto at the zonal dialogue with stakeholders on the National Ethics and Integrity Policy, organized by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, in collaboration with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission for the northwest zone.

The Sultan, represented by the Wazirin Sokoto, Prof. Sambo Wali Junaidu, said keeping mute on the recovered loots would spell doom for the fight against corruption in the country.

“The government owes Nigerians an explanation, we want to know how much billions of naira was recovered from our past leaders. Where the monies are and what are they doing with them?

“This explanation is necessary considering the state of our education and other infrastructure like roads which need serious government attention,” he said

He said the founders of the Sokoto Caliphate had written many books on corruption and how it could be addressed using Islamic ways.

The Sultan urged Nigerian leaders to obtain copies of those books in order to be guided in getting to tackling corruption.

The zonal head of ICPC in charge of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara States, Ibrahim Alkali said the national ethics and integrity policy was a child of necessity as “it was conceived and delivered out of the urgent need to resuscitate and rejuvenate our lost values of honesty and integrity as a nation.”

Recovered assets constitute budgetary item — Malami

Also on Tuesday, the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee investigating the status of all recovered loots, movable and immovable assets from 2002 to 2020 demanded the details of the accounts of the recovered loots from the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who also appeared before the committee, said: “All these assets as recovered are indeed lodged with the CBN Account on Assets Recovery and the receipts of the amounts have been confirmed by the CBN.

“Recovered assets have constituted budgetary item that has been appropriated by the NASS and among other monies.”

Malami said the government the government had recorded some modest achievements regarding asset recoveries.

He said: “In that respect, we had succeeded in December 2017 to recover $322m from Switzerland. That asset recovered is known as Abacha loot.

“Again in May 2020, we succeeded in recovering $311, 797, 866.11 from the Island of Jersey and indeed UK. In October 2020, we recovered 5, 494, 743.71 Euros from the Republic of Northern Ireland in Nigeria known as Abacha Loot. And of recent, we succeeded in May 2021 in recovering £4. 214, 017 from UK known as Ibori loot.”

He said there were multiple dimensions to the status of recovered assets, both foreign and local.

Delay in passage of Proceeds of Crimes Bill

Malami said the delay in the passage of the Proceeds of Crimes Bill by the National Assembly affected the recovery efforts of the Federal Government.

“As at the time we came into office, we realized there was no coordinated way through which recovered assets were being coordinated in terms of disposal and associated things.

“What we did was to put in place a legal framework to consider the possibility of having a legal framework and develop the Proceeds of Crime Bill which was transmitted by the executive to the National Assembly as far back as 2017.

“Embedded in the POCA Bill was the assets management and recovery agency and I regret to state that as far back as 2017 to 2019, up to the present moment, that legislative framework could not be achieved on account of the fact that the POCA was not passed by NASS.

“If indeed the NASS has passed the POCA Bill, I cannot be here scampering and perhaps scouting for information relating to the recovered assets because that bill has indeed put in place and effective mechanism in terms of database, disposal, processes and procedure.

“So, the starting point is to state that there has been inaction on the part of the NASS with particular regards to having in place a coordinated legal framework and assets tracing and disposal management,” he said.

Malami, however, noted that despite the challenges, the recovery efforts had been yielding positive result as funds were being recovered.

£4.2m Ibori loot released to Delta – Accountant-General

The Accountant-General, Ahmed Idris, told the committee that the recovered £4.2m Ibori loot had been paid to Delta State.

He said recovered funds should be paid to the states from where the funds were stolen, noting that the Federal Government had, in the past, paid Plateau and another state when funds stolen from there were recovered.

“I know there was a time recovery was made on behalf of Plateau State. There was one for Bayelsa. There was one for different states, even Delta. Such recoveries go specifically to those states.”

When asked by the chairman of the committee about the recent Ibori loot received from the United Kingdom. The Accountant-General responded: “It has been paid to the state. It was paid to Delta State.

“Any recovery arising from looted funds from a particular state goes to the state. The state governors would not even allow this to fly.

“They’ll take Federal Government to court for holding their money. So, we don’t joke and we don’t play with that. We pay them their money,” he said.

“There’s need to identify and address these matters so that they’re not left under lacunas. We’re the treasury, and the treasury has specific functions in line with the extant rules and regulations.

“Documentation, custody of accounts, management of accounts, maintenance of accounts, making releases to the arms of government is the function of the treasury of the federal republic of Nigeria and I head the treasury. So, I take responsibility for all these,” he said.

Reps demand details of recovered funds accounts

The committee demanded clarifications on some transactions regarding the recovery and other accounts being operated with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The chairman of the committee, Adejoro Adeogun, directed the Accountant-General should furnish the committee with all the necessary documents on the operations of the TSA, the recoveries as well as other accounts being operated by the CBN.

The Accountant-General is to appear before the committee on Friday; while the EFCC, the ICPC and others are to appear before the committee between Wednesday and Thursday.

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JOHESU, AHPA issue fresh 15 days nationwide strike notice

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The Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations have issued a fresh 15 days strike notice.

This followed an unanimously resolution adopted by the two groups to step down the notice of strike due to expire midnight September 17 and issue a fresh notice of 15 days.

It would be recalled that the union had on September 2 issued the Federal Government a 15 days ultimatum to meet its demands or embark on nationwide strike at the expiry date.

The JOHESU Acting General Secretary, Chief Matthew Ajorutu, said this in a communique issued at the end of an Expanded National Executive Council emergency meeting of the union via Zoom and physical attendance on Friday in Abuja.

The expanded NEC had the Presidents and General Secretaries of affiliate unions and professional associations, NEC members of affiliate unions and JOHESU Chairmen and Secretaries at the state and branch levels.

Ajorutu said that NEC-in-session had critically appraised the reports of JOHESU negotiation and conciliation meetings with the Federal Government since the declaration of the trade dispute through the 15 days strike notice issued on September 2.

He said that NEC also noted the appeal from President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to show understanding with his administration and the President’s pledge to pay any debt owed health workers.

He said that NEC also received and examined reports of congresses held at various health facilities across the country on the mobilisation for the strike action due to commence at midnight on September 18.

According to Ajorutu, NEC, after long hours of exhaustive deliberations on issues surrounding the planned industrial action, resolved that the Federal Ministry of Health should ensure speedy circularisation of all establishment and welfare matters as agreed during negotiation meetings.

He said: “The Federal Government should ensure that the new data for the computation of the adjusted Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) for JOHESU members be completed and submitted to the ‘High Level Body (HLB)’ of the FG not later than Wednesday, September 22, as agreed.

“NEC-in-session urges the Federal Government to ensure that the High Level Body (HLB) complete and submit the computation of the adjusted CONHESS for inclusion in the 2022 budget within the September 30th, submission window.

“NEC urges the Federal Government to reciprocate the patriotic humanitarian gesture of JOHESU in the interest of the larger Nigerian masses to expeditiously resolve all the demands within the fifteen days window.

“Finally, NEC-in-Session unanimously adopts a resolution to step down the notice of strike action due to expire mid-night September 17, and issue a fresh notice of fifteen days.”

The communique further said that NEC commended all members for their commitment and understanding towards the struggle for better working conditions, improved healthcare services and social justice for all.

Eagle Online

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Defection: Gumi knocks Fani-Kayode, calls him ‘Judas of Oduduwa’

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Popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has described Femi Fani-Kayode as the ‘Judas of Oduduwa’ following his defection from the opposition party (PDP) to the All Progressive Congress (APC).

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Gumi wrote:

“I have for long, neglected the rantings of the Judas of Oduduwa attacking me knowing fully well that he is fake and a traitor.

“Time has now caught up with him and thanks to Allah, all his vituperations are cast in the dustbin of merciless history.

“It is him now, one wonders which of the seven circles of hell this duper will settle if he doesn’t repent.”

Recall that the Fani-Kayode, a former minister of aviation under President Olusegun Obasanjo, berated those fronting for bandits and terrorists in the country. Though he never mentioned names but his rhetorics suggested he was referring to Sheikh Gumi.

On joining the APC, Fani-Kayode, however, said that he was moved by the Spirit to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC, pointing out that he was a founding member of the ruling party.

Arogbonlo Israel,Vanguard News Nigeria

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BDCs funding Boko Haram, kidnappings, says CBN governor

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has accused operators of Bureaux de Change (BDC) of funding terrorism and kidnapping in the country.

Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, stated this in Abuja on Friday after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting.

He also vowed that CBN would not rescind its decision to ban the sale of foreign exchange to the BDCs.

Emefiele said the CBN had resolved to stop funding the BDCs in the name of stabilising the forex market.

He said, “We have decided that this will stop and it has stopped for good. It beats my imagination that Nigeria carried on with this kind of practice that tended to support illegal activities of people who are involved in graft and involved in corrupt practices.”

He also said, “We have unwittingly supported activities of those who illegally buy foreign exchange from this illegal market, carry them in aircraft out of the country and go to buy arms and ammunition and bring them back into the country and conduct crime whether it is Boko Haram, kidnapping or all sorts of nefarious activities.

“We the CBN take our country’s dollar and sell to people to go and buy arms ammunition to come and hurt us. That is what we are saying that people want us to continue to do. We cannot do that any longer.”

He told bank customers with legitimate requests for forex exceeding the official limit that “your bank will speak to us and we will give you what is even more than the limit. We will continue to monitor the banks.

“We conducted a study, one of the banks sold in one day forex to 52 people who wanted to travel. After two weeks, they went to check, 40 out of the 52 had cancelled their tickets. They will have to return the forex or we will pursue you if you are involved in this nefarious activity. We are not going to go back there again.”

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